LTE is gaining ground globally and is now commercially deployed in 300 wireless networks globally today and is expected to be in 350 networks globally by year-end. In addition, the next iteration of LTE, or LTE Advanced, is also expanding its reach with nine commercial deployments globally today and 40 networks expected to have LTE Advanced by year-end, according to the trade group 4G Americas.
Interestingly, 4G Americas said that there are more than 500 wireless networks that have committed to LTE deployments. Of those 300 deployments, 4G Americas said that the vast majority, or 264, are LTE-FDD and 23 are LTE-TDD.
North America leads in LTE subscribers with 45 percent of the 278 million LTE connections as of the end of May 2014. However, Europe has the most LTE networks deployed.
As for LTE Advanced, AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) was the first major U.S. operator to deploy LTE Advanced. However, 4G Americas said that all four Tier 1 U.S. operators will deploy LTE A in 2014 and 2015.
In March, Kris Rinne, senior vice president of network technologies in AT&T Labs, said that AT&T had started using carrier aggregation technology in Chicago and other markets to boost LTE capacity and speeds on its network. However, she noted that the carrier's advertised data speeds would not likely change as the company is deploying the technology to ensure it can meet users' data demands as more customers start using LTE.
LTE Advanced includes a number of features, including carrier aggregation, self-optimizing capabilities, enhanced inter-cell interference coordination (eICIC), and advanced MIMO antenna technology.
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